Cottco recovers 50 tonnes of traded Pfumvudza/Intwasa inputs

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Harare (New Ziana)-The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO) has recovered at least 50 tonnes of cotton seed and fertilisers given to farmers for free under the Presidential Inputs programme after being sold to unscrupulous buyers.

The company started distributing seeds, fertilisers and chemicals to farmers in October this year.

In a statement, Cottco said it had witnessed rampant abuse of the free inputs by farmers across the cotton growing areas.

“Farmers register to receive inputs and thereafter they take the inputs to sell to other people thereby diverting the inputs from the intended use.

“A total of 50 tons of inputs have since been recovered through the Loss Control Department working closely with our operations department.

“Perpetrators have been arrested and some of the cases are now before the courts of law. The farmers are also selling CAN, Lime, chemicals and knapsack sprayers.

Cottco said the farmers were selling the fertilisers for as low as $6 per 50kg bag.

“It is a criminal offence to sell or abuse the free Presidential Inputs,” said the company.

The government set aside ZWL$77 billion in the 2023 National Budget to provide free seed and fertilisers to communal farmers under the Presidential Inputs scheme, commonly known as Pfumvudza/Intwasa.

For cotton, at least 5 200 farmers are expected to get seed and fertilisers under the same facility.

The introduction of support and competitive prices have seen many farmers returning to grow cotton after having abandoned it in favour of other cash crops such as tobacco, whose marketing was orderly, and prices were profitable.

New Ziana

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